2022 Glossy Awards

 

I'm humbled to have been recently named a Glossy 2022 Founder of the Year. With every achievement and victory, I’m reminded of both my mother and her undeniably influential presence in our mission as well as my community in Togo. I also think extensively about the younger version of myself who dreamed of implementing change that could be truly seen and felt. Accolades themselves are a nice indicator of your efforts but in the case of Alaffia, it’s our collective efforts that I would like to honor and celebrate. Alaffia is, by nature, the result of the cumulative efforts of our retail partners, our talented women leading the cooperatives on the ground in Togo, devoted employees around the states, and those buying and enjoying our products time and time again. 

To be awarded such a title in the year 2022 tells me that we still have a lot of work to do. My hope is that this recognition among others will begin to set a new precedence for what it means to lead an organization into the future and define new parameters around entrepreneurship and social responsibility. If participation in the global trade market can be done while also building generational wealth, community connection, and lessening healthcare and educational disparities, why on earth would we ever dream of doing it differently? 

When making a profit directly correlates to empowering people and safeguarding a treasure trove of wisdom and a culture rich with vibrancy and equatorial bounty, you capitalize on that. It's efficient but it's also ethical and it's something worth being proud of. It's also something worth being inspired by; Glossy says so, take their word for it! In all seriousness, the only thing that would take the cake here, next to our nearly 20-year venture is to see an influx of similar business models empowering other countries with a set of unique customs, traditions, and natural resources. I want to see and hear the voices of global traditions everywhere!

My hope is that you'll try your hand at an event endeavor you've always dreamed about, the social project you've always talked about, or the family business you're terrified to begin. It only sounds cliche because you haven't begun... once you're able to apply some lived experience to the overused sentiment of "dream big,” you'll find that suddenly it feels like less of a shop-worn term. You'll wake up one day and be grateful you gave it a go and when reflecting on your long list of inspirations, this will be he most honorable acclamation of them all. 

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